Worldwide, 71 million people are infected with hepatitis C - but 80 percent of the patients do not know anything about their infection. The Geneva-based international non-profit organization FIND is therefore launching an initiative to develop rapid on-site diagnostics and is financially supporting feasibility studies by the two research campus members Abbott and Blink from Jena.
The campus partners Abbott and Blink are two out of three diagnostics companies that receive funding to develop a molecular point-of-care test for the detection of hepatitis C viruses based on their genetic information. The studies will explore different technologies in order to develop a versatile molecular diagnostic platform that can even be used in developing countries. At the InfectoGnostics research campus, both partners contribute significantly to the development of such platforms for on-site diagnostics.
Hepatitis C virus infections mainly affect people in developing and emerging countries: 75 percent of all global infections occur in low or middle-income countries. Although modern therapies enable a fast and permanent cure, the disease has so far been diagnosed too rarely, as it is usually showing few or no symptoms and no inexpensive on-site tests are available for routine diagnostics. Untreated, the disease often leads to liver cirrhosis and increases the likelihood of liver cancer.